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Posts Tagged ‘Writing’

I have depressing scenes to write and I just can’t get in that mind frame for expressing it well.

Which got me thinking—do you have to be in the appropriate mood to truly feel and describe the depth of experience of your characters?

I don’t mean that you have to be experiencing depression to write a melancholy scene, but I don’t think you can go take your kids to the playground, have a picnic, put them to bed with hugs and kisses and then sit down to write a tear-jerker. I will at least need a rainy, grey day to even attempt to feel these scenes.

Is the same true of romantic scenes or joyful scenes? Is it possible to write these moods well when you are feeling quite the opposite in life? Or is it a sign of a talented writer who can flip a switch to their brain and immediately commiserate with their imagined character?

I can only think of method actors who are famous for staying in character the entire duration of a film. Or actors that have to pull something up within themselves, an empathetic cord from their past, that can bring them into the character’s mind. Sometimes, I have to pretend to be one with my character. I have to become a physical medium for my invisible character to communicate through—allowing them to use my mind, my hands, and most importantly, my voice.

I do rely on music to help me transition from a beautiful day to grey one. This is my tool for reaching any feelings I need to muster for my writing. I set a sad song on repeat and hope that it permeates and brings me to a depressing place to write.

Lately this one has been working:

 

Mad World by Gary Jules

 

So, do you wait for a certain mood to write with your character? If not, what method works for you? Does it always work?

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Yesterday, I did something I was planning to do for a while.

I went back into my high school.

Upon creating my acknowledgements page for my second book, I tried to think of everyone that helped me along on my journey to publishing. One person leapt into mind and I couldn’t believe I forgot to mention him in the first book.

My high school history teacher.

I had a hard time in high school. I was diagnosed with lyme disease in the beginning of my junior year. Unfortunately, it appeared that I had it for quite sometime before it was found. For years, I had painful neurologic complications and was always so tired. It was a struggle to get up every morning, let alone be on time for school. I missed a lot of early classes and some teachers were insulted by it.

But not this history teacher.

One day he started the class off by saying that someone forgot to put their name on an assignment and he handed out everyone’s to find out who it was. Once all the papers were handed out, he saw that I didn’t get mine back and I was so embarrassed to be the one who spaced out like that. I reached for my paper so that he would move on with the class so everyone would stop staring at me. But then he held the paper up and told everyone that my paper was the best thing he’s ever read from a student and this is what he expected when he handed out an assignment.

I couldn’t believe it. My mortification only deepened as he proceeded to read it aloud to the class!

The assignment was to imagine that you were one of the early settlers of America and to write a journal entry trying to explain an event during that time.

My teacher (who also had a dramatic flair) stopped after every other sentence, oohing and ahhing. After he finished, he told the class that I was going to be a writer someday.

Well, after the class returned to normal and their envious eyes went back to the chalk board, his words sunk in and I beamed inside.

I still have that paper. I have frequently pulled it out of my memorabilia box and I’m so thankful that he wrote the same comments he proclaimed to the class all over the whole piece. He even wrote the words, “I have no doubt that you will be an amazing writer someday.”

How could I have forgotten to thank him in my first book? Especially since my series is so much like that assignment; the series where I imagined experiencing historic events or people first hand. He gave me the confidence that I could attempt to pull off such a thing.

He was always such an enthusiastic teacher and everyone loved him. No matter if they were the top of the class or someone who was struggling. He loved history and he loved his students. So many teachers burned out, but this teacher put on a show every class. Trying to pull all his students into the love of history with the littlest details. I remember he even gave students partial credit on tests if they came up with something amusing in reply, instead of leaving the answer blank. He was a wonderful, wonderful teacher.

Acknowledging him in my book was not enough.

I knew he would never find my book on his own so I ordered a copy of each book and enclosed a letter to him. I decided to hand deliver my package to be sure he was still at the same school. It was so surreal to walk back through my high school doors. A few times I almost turned around because a voice in my head tried to talk me out of the whole thing. I felt like that delinquent student all over again, rushing in to try to make part of my morning classes.

The main office wasn’t in the same place.

Good—the voice said inside me—you can’t find the office, so just go home.

But I walked a little further and saw a small office. I took a breath and walked in.

I asked, “Does (teacher’s name) still teach here?”

“Yes.” She appeared wary.

Then I remembered how schools now have security measures in place for disgruntled students and what did I say?…

“I was a student of his and just wanted to thank him.” I handed her the heavy, bomb-sized package.

She quickly looks me up and down, trying to find any sign of danger, but slowly reaches her hands up for the package once she takes in my yoga uniform and thrown-together motherly vibe. If I didn’t have time to brush my hair, clearly I didn’t have time to make a pipe-bomb.

Her still, awkward stare pressed the urgent need for me to explain more.

“I wrote a couple of books and thanked him in my acknowledgements…” Ugh, I’m talking too much, just stop! “I just wanted to give him a copy.”

She nodded in partial acceptance and I turned and briskly walked out, like I just picked up my class absence pass.

I practically ran to my car, slowly re-emerging as the thirty-something mother of two that I am. I didn’t even stop at the student guard station. I just waved to the man, who waved back (I must look thirty from just a glance in the car!).

Anyway, I told you this long story not only to validate this amazing teacher, but also to cause you to think about all those who helped you feel confident about your writing. Think way back to your formative years and I’d love for you to tell me about them in the comments…and don’t forget to thank them in your first (next) book!

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One of the best things about making my first book free for the last three weeks (full promotion report due out at the end of the month!) has definitely been the increase in ratings and reviews.

Yes, these are gold for reader confidence and promotion, but they’re priceless for restoring my faith that this was all worth it. All the hours I stayed up late after putting my kids to bed; all the hours I spent researching; all the time in writing workshops; all the forums I joined and books I bought seeking out self-publishing advice; all the money I spent on getting the best product out—all had to be appreciated by someone.

I honestly never expected my books to make much money. Never expected to be the next Amanda Hocking. I would be very happy if I could just pay back the expenses. But the one goal I’ve had this whole time was to simply hear from a fan that appreciated all the things I set out to create. I worried that maybe the series was too complicated; that readers might not like tracking each character through time; that people might not like the fact this was a true series.

Besides my friends and family, I didn’t know how the world would see my book.

Well, I cry every time I read a kind and thoughtful review. I don’t think I truly felt like a writer until someone completely enjoyed what I set out to deliver.

I’m actually connecting to strangers through my story.

After reading these reviews, I wish there was some way I could personally tell these people how much it’s touched me. The only thing I can do is print the reviews out and frame them to start a little inspiration collection over my writing-table.

Anytime I have any doubt, I’ll just look up and they’ll be there. All my fans 🙂

The more these reviews come in, the more I want to write! Even if negative reviews come in, it only matters that some people are fans and those are the people I’m envisioning when I write my next book. Some of them haven’t left many reviews for other authors, and that has meant even more to me since they probably read my plea for reviews in the forward and went out of their way to help me.

If they’re reading this, truly, thank you. You have no idea how much this has meant to me.

It’s so important to tell a writer after you enjoy their book. Let them know what you loved and how they’ve touched you. I’ll never put down a book again without leaving a note for the author. It’s extremely rewarding.

For those who have published, has a fan ever inspired you? If not published yet, who has given you confidence?

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How many revisions does it take for your MS to lose its spark?

“Let’s find out.

One…

tWoo…

thhhhreee”

*CRUNCH*

I wish I only had to do three revisions. Three, and I might still be gushing about it for launch. But I find when I’m reading my novel for the twentieth time my MS loses its spark.

Finish the MS—Wow, this is the best thing I’ve ever written! Perfect!

First revision after letting it sit—Wow, this needs work but what great scenes and dialog! I love it!

Second revision—Wow, I can’t believe how many mistakes I missed after that last edit, but it’s still awesome!

Fifth revision—Wow, still so much work. I’ve got to rewrite a few scenes, but it’s pretty good stuff.

Tenth revision—Wow, I think I need glasses since I’m still finding mistakes! Eh. It’s okay.

Fifteenth revision—Wow, another revision, I don’t think I can read it again. I hope I’m going in the right direction.

Nineteenth revision—Wow, this has to be the last revision! I’m so sick of it! That’s it. I’m done.

Twentieth revision—Wow, is this even any good anymore?

I’m sure this happens to every author, but I imagine it must be harder for the self-published author since you have to feel confident about the piece you’re about to release to the world—on your own. You don’t have team cheering you on from behind. A team that has thought so highly of your project that they have invested in it.

Of course, even LOTR and Pride and Prejudice would lose its spark after twenty reads within a short amount of time. So what do you do when you start to question if your MS is still good when you have worn it out like a pair of comfortable sneakers?

You must have rounds of beta readers. You need someone at every stage of processing to tell you that you’ve got something there. You need someone to see your twentieth revision with fresh eyes. You need them to tell you it’s amazing and which parts they laughed and cried at. Then they tell you two or three small things that they would change and you’re back to revision twenty-one:

Wow, they loved it, so this must be good. I just have to fix a few things and it’s off to the editor who will be so impressed with how much work I’ve done this time.

After the editor—Wow, I can’t believe I missed all these mistakes. Am I ever going to learn comma placement? *bangs head*

So what about you guys? How many revisions does it take before your eyes bleed and doubt sets in?

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Have you ever picked up something you’ve written more than a year ago and read it again?

It was amazing.

After letting it sit for a year, I was shocked with how much I’ve forgotten. Once I got past all the terrible grammar mistakes I made prior to my editing education, (wow I really have learned a lot!), it was fascinating to read something I didn’t remember—yet I wrote!

It was so strange to actually critique and experience my MS like a reader. So many things were a surprise. I mean, I don’t have dementia. I do remember the large things, but there were many times I actually said to myself, “I can’t wait to see what happens here!”

Crazy, I know, but I do recommend it.

Also, I found I was confused at parts, even though before things made perfect sense. I found those holes and patched them up nicely.

I highly recommend writing, then letting it sit for a long time while you write something else. It is wonderful and so helpful! Still get as many betas as you can (you can NEVER have enough), but it’s always good to let your piece sit long enough so you can see it with fresh eyes.

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Oh well, holidays are over and my sequel is out for final proofreading. I’m completing my citations and bibliography page now and I’m forcing myself to finish writing my next book in the series. I say forcing since I’ve a hard time changing hats from researcher-writer- revisor- queryer-editor-designer-publisher-promoter then back to writer. I tend to get stuck in the phases.

When I was writing, I just kept writing. I actually finished the first book, the second, 2/3’s of the third, and 1/3 of the last book all in one straight streak. I couldn’t stop creating. I worried that I would never want to stop writing to get any of the books out. I made myself stop and start to rework the first book. Then I got caught up in all the other stages.

Why do I have such a hard time transitioning?

So now, I really don’t want to start researching the next life I’m delving into. I keep trying to convince myself that it’s a better idea to start reworking the lives I’ve already completed in the third book. I think a part of me feels like I haven’t written in so long that I’m afraid I can’t do it anymore. I have this great momentum in the book up until this point and then I stopped to do all the other phases and I’m scared to pick it back up again.

What if the momentum is ruined?

I think a part of me is scared to see if I can still write this series. I feel so much more comfortable to do what I’ve been doing for a year now. Plus, I have to isolate myself so much more during the writing process. I can revise, edit, design, promote all while watching Thundercats, shaking a baby toy, or keeping an eye on my son’s ninja attempts. But when I write, I need to focus and fall into the world inside me. Once the words start pouring out, it’s torture to stick a cork in to do something else.

But I don’t have a choice. I’m a full-time mother and writer, so I must try to juggle as best as I can. I realize that I just have to quiet those fears and throw myself into the writing. I hope it will be like riding a bicycle. I hope the series will keep up it’s pace and intimacy I created previously.

Who knows? Maybe all this professional editing will rub off during the first draft!

Do you have a hard time changing between all the different phases? Which phase to you enjoy the most? Which one do you dread?

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Maya continues to delve into her past lives after death, and strives to complete the tentative journey required to reunite with her loved ones in heaven.

She must relive and explore her former incarnations as the scandalous and misunderstood Lucrezia Borgia in renaissance Italy; a young stowaway on the doomed Spanish Armada fleet; and the rebellious Irish Robin Hood, Count Redmond O’Hanlon.

Her companions prove truer while her enemies grow stronger as her bygone adventures spin forth. This time she must experience the trials of loyalty and endure the hardships that only supreme devotion brings.

Expected to launch January 2012

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Shiny Ball Syndrome

The Millionaire Matchmaker made up this term to describe what happens when someone should be focusing on one thing but get easily distracted by something shinier and new. Well, I should be finalizing my launch list. I should be working through those edits of the sequel. Heck, I should be sleeping at 2 AM after feeding my daughter, but instead I’m thinking about a new book!

Boy when it hits, it comes out of nowhere. Suddenly one little thought snowballs into a full-fleshed outline and it’s 6 am. Is this inspiration? Procrastination? Sleep deprivation?

Well, whatever it was I couldn’t stop it. I actually had to get out of bed and open my laptop to jot all the details down.

When I woke up I wondered if upon opening up my notes if I they would read like some crazy dream that made sense when you were dreaming it but once you explained it to someone you realized it was nonsense. Thankfully, I still liked my idea in the morning so it wasn’t a total loss. I even began drooling at the thought of writing again.

Writing!

Not polishing, not editing, not rewriting, but writing!

I stopped myself as soon as I opened up a shiny new word document and typed in my title. (I even thought of a title!)

Can you take a break with two books in the series finished and third 2/3’s done and write a whole new novel? Would my readers be angry to have the series delayed? Might I lose momentum or characters if I took this break? Or might I get refreshed by starting something new? Tell my your thoughts or experience with this.

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      Well, all my fantasy-prone blog followers and friends, I’m sure you all must love Halloween as much as I do. The night you can pretend to be whoever you want and roam the streets under the guise of darkness, the crisp leaves crunching under your costumed-feet, collecting CANDY from strangers! The night where fear is confronted and spooky is embraced. The night where the veil between us and the afterlife thins and the dead can mingle with the living.

Oh I LOVE Halloween.

This year we actually have a white Halloween.

Yes, snow in the fall everyone.

They say it hasn’t snowed this early in these parts since the Civil War. I actually love the snow (as long as I keep my power that is), but it’s pretty strange to be trick or treating in half-a-foot of snow. Our area has actually sent out a public message strongly discouraging going out due to power outages. In lieu of house-to-house, they are offering candy at the town hall from 2-4. Well, that sounds terribly depressing. I’m going to look up which neighborhoods still have power and drive my son around to all the Halloween friendly houses. I’m sure my son will be telling his grandchildren about this one day. One of those — “When I was a boy we had to trudge through four feet of snow to get our candy!”

I’m even more bummed this Halloween since I usually host a huge Halloween party where I do things like this:

                 Welcome to the haunted house…muh-ah-ah-ah!

                           (Harry Potter music blasting)

         (Um…the ectoplasm thing in the lower left corner appeared after I took the picture 😮 )

                              Every haunted house needs a cemetery

                       Some of those guys pop-up!

                           The grim reaper on his phantom steed

Oh seeing all these pics makes me miss having my party this year, but since I have an infant to take care of into the wee hours of the night, I decided to forgo it. Boy am I glad I didn’t try though, the snow would have wrecked everything. I would have been rushing around trying to save all of my decorations and animatronics. I hope it still feels like Halloween a little bit tonight. It feels like Halloween Grinch has stolen it from us.

So in honor of trick or treating, I’ve posted a little more of my book below:

                                                                                                           Chapter 2
Years later, my palm-wood-sandaled feet trot along the stone path through tall desert trees that provide much-needed relief from the dry heat of the land. I come to the end of my purification walk from my family dwelling outside the sacred city of Memphis. My thirty days of service is about to begin, and I’m eager to reclaim the position of my late father and his father before that. I already feel strength from my fast. I walk steadfast under the towering statues of Ra lining the walkway to the temple entrance. I’m beginning to feel alive again, every muscle tingling.
Above the door bears the sacred inscription: “The House of Life—The Learned Ones of Library Magic.” Every time I pass under that engraving, pride consumes me. I’m the high priest of such a temple. The six guards at the entrance step aside and bow to me, allowing me access. I point for my lagging slave, Nun, to go to my sleeping chamber and prepare it for the evening. The interior of the temple drops twenty degrees, and my sweat cools instantly, causing a slight chill. Torches illuminate a path down the corridor as the smell of incense engulfs me.
Another guard opens the massive cypress door and bows on one knee while holding the heavy door open. Inside the high- ceilinged room stands an imposing statue of Serapis, God of Dreams, to which our temple is dedicated. All around the statue, offerings of fruit, nuts, beer, wine and fresh-killed lamb are piled up. Expensive oils and incense are burned in wide pots at the perimeter of the vast room, casting light on the papyrus plants, lotus, and palm trees painted to the top of the walls. I look to the flying birds and stars painted to the greatest height across the vaulted ceiling. A harpist plays soft music while beautiful virgins dance slowly. I walk to the altar and bow as a priestess wafts a cloud of incense and natron around me.
I head through the pyres to my right which lead me to the cleansing pool. I stand at the pool’s steps, waiting with my arms out, as a stolist priest unties my cotton loincloth. Naked, I kneel down as another stolist lathers my head with scented lotion and shaves my hair to my scalp. I stand again as he shaves all of my body, hand-plucks my eyebrows and each eyelash.
As a viper feels after shedding its skin, I breathe deep and glide into the cool, pure water, then sink beneath. Breaching the surface and rubbing the water from my eyes, I catch my reflection in the golden mirrors lining the edge of the pool. Water runs down my brown skin, causing a glistening effect in the glowing dimness of the room. With all my hair gone, my features look chiseled, emphasizing my prominent nose and thick lips.
As I exit, the priests anoint my body in balanos oil and tie a clean white linen loincloth around my waist. I bow my head as one places the moonstone eye of Serapis around my neck and a gold arm cuff around my biceps. I turn to another who paints my eyes, brows, and lips black with kohl out of a lotus-shaped glass container. To finalize the cleansing, I rinse my mouth with salty natron water and spit into an alabaster flask. The priests bow to me as I walk back into the central room of the temple, again bow to Serapis, and continue to the dream-incubation chamber. I am to prepare the evening’s special ceremony to find Nebu’s—God Wife of Serapis—adopted Royal Daughter.
I walk into the large central chamber, where two lower priests are tending the giant fire pits on either side of my podium that holds my sacred books. I take my place at the altar, enclosed by the thick, stone columns, to review the last priest’s journal entries. The tended fires blaze, illuminating the carvings of the dream gods carved on all four walls. Gods who are waiting for pharaohs, priests, scribes, wealthy merchants, and commoners to come to scry for cures, magical spells, hex removal, fertility, and prophesy. I hold their most vital hopes and dreams in my hands.
The two priests finish with the fires, refill incense oils, and then bow as they back out of the chamber; I wave them away.
Hearing sandals clicking down the corridor outside, I can tell it is Nebu’s quick light feet as she comes to greet me. She is beautiful, as all of the wives of gods are expected to be. She wears her gold-and-lapis lazuli collar, gold headdress, and gold-painted long skirt wrapped around her hips. I bow before her, appreciating every inch of wasted splendor, since no earthly man can ever have her.
“Sokaris,” she says with her hands out for me to grasp in greeting, “I hope your leave was restful?”
“I grew fat and bored as always, and I’m eager to dedicate myself again.” I hold her hands and bow with her.
She begins to walk, silently commanding me to follow her down the corridor.
“It is time for me to pass down my position, but I do not want to choose poorly. I need to adopt an apprentice who will not merely fulfill my wifely duties but also please Serapis.”
As we are approaching the main chamber, Edjo—Nebu’s favored apprentice—comes limping down the corridor in tears. As Edjo is normally a graceful and tranquil beauty, this is an abnormal event. Her tears cause her kohl to make black rivers down her fine-featured face, and her amber eyes look beseechingly to Nebu.
“Most High, I awoke this morning with a large and painful lesion above my knee.” She points to a festering wound seeping clear fluid down her right leg. “It is a curse, I tell you! I dreamed of a jealous enemy last week!”
Nebu turns to me, and I nod in validation.
“I also have a rash that has spread all over my face and down the back of my neck.”
We lean closer with a torch and see her skin is indeed raised and red.
Nebu shakes her head with disappointment. “I am sorry, Edjo, but these are all signs the gods do not find you fit for this position.”
Edjo crumples to Nebu’s feet.
“Once you are healed and purified, you are welcome to be one of my esteemed dancers,” Nebu says as she pats her heaving back.
Edjo begins kissing her feet. “Please, Nebu, please see this for the treachery it is! I have been groomed for Serapis, raised to be his wife! I am Edjo, the daughter of Amun! This is my birthright! My family will be shamed!”
Nebu shakes her off her feet and starts moving down the hall to the other dancers.
Edjo shrieks from behind us, “I cannot bear this shame! I am going to drown myself in the Nile, and the one that has cursed me will be damned!”
Neither Nebu nor I give her a second look. Nebu whispers under her breath, “Clearly not ordained.” The rhythmic drums and cymbals are heard from the corridor,and the chamber is filled with movement. Twenty royal dancers twist and turn to the beats, striving to stand out and impress Nebu. They can all turn the head of any man, but they dull like the dust stars next to the brightest and shining star. I stop hearing the music when I see her.
She watches her hands and the intricate movements they’re making as her hips click with the beat. I don’t know which part of her to watch first. She is the waves rolling from the center of the sea with no end and no beginning, an unrelenting ripple of her whole body. She starts with a large movement of her middle and lets it flow to an undulation out the tips of her hands and then back down to her toes. Her body reflects all of the flickers of the fire, making her cast a marbled glow. Her motions hypnotize me, and when I find the music has stopped—I want more.
I shake my head to break the spell and look to see if Nebu notices the trance she put me under, but she too is watching the girl. She claps her hands. “Satisfactory.” Then, motioning to the harpist to begin playing, she commands, “Sing for Serapis.”
When it’s my dancing girl’s turn to sing, she doesn’t have perfect pitch, as did other girls, but she sings quietly and so sweetly. Her eyes! Her eyes are large, honey pools you can fall into and never climb out! She is the most intriguing and captivating woman I’ve ever seen. Something is different about her—something powerful—something mystifying. She moves, and my eyes follow; she speaks, and my ears tune out all other sound. I feel far away from her and want to be closer. I wish no one else were in the room.
Nebu interrupts my pain. “I see you agree with my choice.”
I pretend to be only slightly interested. “There are many talented girls for you to pick from, but one does seem to have a magic air to her.”
“Ah, you have noticed. Yes, that is a good way to put it.” She smiles while gazing upon her. “I wonder, though, if she seems devout and disciplined enough?”
“That is hard to see in the arts. We will need to probe deeper and let our ancient knowledge guide us.”
My heart races at the thought that I’ll get to spend some time alone with her.
“Yes, we will have to trust the ancients—and you, Sokaris.”
I leave to take my place in the dream-incubation chamber before Nebu sends her. I have to regain composure and steady myself for the important task ahead. I look up at my reflection in the brass incense burner, and I see her float in behind me. I turn, avoiding her eyes, and stare at my papyrus.
“Name?” I ask. “Bastet, daughter of Ketuh.” Her voice is melodious. “Age?” “Fifteen and a half years.” She’s older than most royal daughters, but it is not unheard of for someone her age to be considered. Her blue glass ear studs catch my eye.
“Let me see your palm.”
She outstretches a fragile, long-fingered hand and slowly turns it within my palm as she looks directly in my eyes. I feel a charge at her touch but continue my task. She has many great talents on her hand but carries three of the most ominous signs: a weak and broken lifeline that foretells a short life; she lacks the gift of willpower whorl on her thumb; and most intriguing to me, her mount of Venus is well padded, showing immense passion. Normally I wouldn’t even let a candidate stay after this miserable reading, but I can’t stand the thought of her leaving.
“Please follow me to your chamber for the night.”
I lead her to the smaller chambers where dream incubation takes place. I motion her to enter the room first, pushing aside the urge to pull her to the bed with me.
She sits down on the side of the linen-draped bed and asks, “Who is looking upon me as I sleep?”
I freeze at her unabashed forwardness but thaw when she points to the carving on the headboard.
“That is the midget god, Bes: the Dream Protector.” I motion her to come to the table beside me. When she nears, I can smell the remnants of scented wax in her braided wig releasing its sweet perfume. “Tonight you must pray to the god Serapis to send you a fortuitous dream, one that can tell us of your destiny with him. Please write his name on the papyrus.”
She obeys with some skill, and I roll it up and place it in a lamp beside her bed.
I pray, “Will it be granted that Bastet, daughter of Ketuh, be Royal Daughter to Serapis? Reveal it to me; answer this little written prayer.”
I light the papyrus to burn while she sleeps. She bows, and I leave her chamber to attempt to retire in the chamber next to hers. It must have been hours before my body relaxed enough to sleep, knowing she is so close.
I’m getting back into bed and am fixing the scroll with my god’s name when I feel something move by my leg under the sheet. I throw back the sheet to expose a writhing mass of snakes crawling and hissing on top of me. I scream as they all bite into me at once, igniting me in flames.
I wake, thrashing and breathing hard.
The same dream again and again!
I write on my papyrus: GET SEHKET!

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I had such a hard time fitting my square-peg-of-a-book into the round-holed genres that agents represented. My book definitely has a fantasy component with an after-life ‘what if’, yet it certainly isn’t the sword-wielding, princess-saving, threatened-kingdom high fantasy most are used to.

My book also has a strong historical component as well. I’ve researched these time periods and tried my best to submerge the reader into an accurate and tangible setting, yet it is not your basic historical. I thought I found a better genre in historical fantasy, the best of both worlds I presumed. Until I read some and realized my book was still not fitting completely in these genres. When I showed others my historical fantasy cover they complained that it wasn’t representing the usual ancient magical covers of the genre.

Nothing seemed to fit.

I knew my cover is exactly what I needed. My focus is the heaven in which my character is in limbo, reviewing her past lives in a lucid remembrance. It is the thread throughout the series and it’s central to everything.

So, it wasn’t until I came across another reincarnation novel in a book search on Amazon that I realized what my genre was.

Reincarnation Fantasy!

Threads: The Reincarnation of Anne Boleyn by Neil Gavin is listed under reincarnation fantasy, a sub-genre of fantasy (I’ll have to add this to my to-read list, it sounds great). So I’ve been labeling it wrong this whole time! I thought I might have even created a whole new genre, but here it is! My series is definitely a reincarnation fantasy.

There may not be any agents that represent this genre in particular and it might be a very small grouping (490 titles on Amazon), but you have more chance of becoming a big fish in a small pond. Right? I still have to choose historical fantasy in the limited drop-down lists found on some sites, but for all other situations this is my genre.

Who knows? Maybe it will become more popular in the future.

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